The Stupid Boy and the Outsider Chapter 7
Sunday was aweird day, first waking up next to Joe and then having Kristine and her parents take our normal seats at church. I know there's no assigned seats or anything, but that's were we've been sitting since I was 5, that never changed.
Then, of course, there was an awkwardness with Joe. I don't know what it was, but there were a few times that Joe looked a little sad that Kevin and Nick were teaching me how to play the guitar. One minute he would be laughing with Jerby, JD, and Berna, and then the next he looked like he wanted to be with us, helping the guys teach me how to play.
It's been awkward since then too. He'd be his normal self until I told him that I had plans with Kevin or Berna then he'd have that same sad look on his face. I really didn't see a problem, I mean, we still hang out like we always did. Plus he was always going out with Kristine. Why'd he have a problem with it?
Well, it's been two days. It's Tuesday, meaning I had two more days to get those 10 things for Mr. Barker. Joe and I finally decided to do his rendition of 20 questions.
"Okay," Joe said as I dumped the crumpled pieces of paper onto the coffee table. "This is what we're gonna do, for every question we have to do a dare."
"We could have just played truth or dare," I said rolling my eyes at him. Why does he like to make things 100 times more difficult then they need to be?
"Why do you keep bagging on my ideas?" He asked defensively.
"Because they're kinda bad." And they usually are.
"Fine," he said before he took all the pieces of paper and walked to the back yard. What is he doing? Curious, I followed him. "The first person to reach the tire swing doesn't have to answer the first question," he said pointing to the old tire swing at the other end of my yard.
"You're kidding me right?" I asked.
"No, for every question we have to have a contest." He had a smile on his face like he was proud of his idea.
Well, it's definitely more exciting than what he thought up before. "Fine," I agreed.
"Okay on the count of three," Joe said. "One... two... three!" We both sprinted toward the tire swing. We were neck and neck, but Joe sped up at the last second and got there first. "I WIN!" He screamed in triumph.
"So what's the question?"
Joe still had the pieces of paper in his hand. He dropped them on the ground and said, "You pick."
I reached down picking a random ball of paper and read out the question. "What do you want on your next birthday?" I looked up at Joe's smiling face. "Did you write this so that you're insured a gift you want or because you really want to know what Iwant?"
"A little bit of both," he said rocking back and forth on the ball of his feet. "You lost so answer it. I'll answer it too, but you first... because you lost."
Schmuck. "I'm not sure what I want, but I have five months to figure it out, I'll tell you when I do."
Joe rolled his eyes. "I guess that's a good enough answer. Well I want..." He paused to think for a second, "I want a kazoo... or a harmonica!" He said getting excited like achild with 5 thinking about what to get at a candy store where everything cost one cent. Then again he usually acted like a child. "Okay next challenge." He walked back in the house and into the kitchen.
"So we're gonna leave the paper there?" I asked following behind him.
"Yup," he said getting two of the largest cups that we had and filled them with orange juice."First to finish drinking a whole glass wins. Ready?" I nodded. "Set?" We each grabbed a cup. "Go!"
It was apretty big cup and I could feel my stomach getting full. I wonder how much aperson can drink before they explode. In the end Joe slammed his cup on the counter first. He was dancing around the kitchen island chanting "I win. Iwin." He's a soar winner I guess.
"Okay are we gonna pick another question now?" I asked finishing the rest of my orange juice, might as well not waste it, and putting the glasses in the sink.
"No we'll just keep going. What's next?" Joe asked himself. After a minute of thinking he snapped his fingers and said, "Let's go to my house."
We walked over to the parsonage and up to Nick and Frankie's room. "Hey guys," I said when we entered the room. Joe didn't knock of course.
"Joe, when adoor is closed you're supposed to knock. It's called common courtesy," Nick scolded.
"Come on Frankie, let's go play," Joe ignored Nick and motioning for Frankie to follow us into the hall way. "You stay right here," Joe said to me, so I just stood right outside of Nick's room. Joe walked half way down the hallway and told Frankie to stay there until we called him. "Okay whoever Frankie goes to wins."Oh like that was fair, Frankie's his brother for goodness sakes, of course he's gonna go to Joe.
I got down to my knees and sat on my feet as we started calling Frankie trying to get him to come to one of us. I felt kind of like a creep calling him over and over again."Come here Frankie," I said in my nicest voice.
"Hey Frankie come to your favorite brother," Joe said. I couldn't help but roll my eyes at his tactics.
"What are you guys doing?" Nick asked finally coming out to the room.
Frankie looked over my way, but he wasn't looking at me, he was looking at Nick. I lightly pulled him down to my level and he got down to his knees too. "Hey Frankie," I said to get his attention directed toward me. If Joe can use his brother status, then I can use a brother. "Look Nick's playing with me." That felt weird to say, but it got him to run toward Nick and me.
"I wanna play with Nick!" Frankie screamed as he ran.
"Aww that's not fair," Joe said at the other end of the hallway.
"I don't remember any rules," I said with a smile and Frankie in my arms. "And besides you told him to go to his favorite brother... apparently his favorite is Nick."
Joe stood up with a gloomy expression on his face and walked toward us. "Fine next one, we have to guess how many songs Nick wrote today, closest number wins."
"Fine," I agreed. "You can guess first loser."
Joe sent alittle death glare my way before saying, "I think... two."
I nodded my head and looked at Nick. He looked confused. "I say one." It was almost lunch he couldn't have wrote much right?
"So how many songs did you write today Nick?" Joe asked.
"Ha!" I said.
"What? You always work on a song," Joe complained.
"I was going over some music, but I wasn't writing anything," Nick clarified.
"How many?'Joe asked with a maniacal glint in his eye.
Frankie lost interest in what we were doing and went into his room to play with his toys."Stop pestering him, Joe. You lost, get over it."
"I don't remember there being any rules," Joe mimicked. Soar loser. "How many?" he asked again.
"One," Nick said with a smile.
I bit down on my bottom lip to keep from smiling. The crazy look left Joe's face and was replaced with an upset one. "We're going back to Jackie's house," Joe said to Nick before going down the stairs.
I followed Joe out his back door and through the gate that separated their yard from ours."There's no need to be upset."
"I'm not upset," Joe said defiantly. "I just don't wanna play anymore. Let's just answer the questions."
We walked up to the tire swing where the papers were still scattered on the ground.
"Okay, you lost the OJ thing so pick," Joe said.
I picked apiece of paper. "What's the farthest you've gone?" I read out loud. "Like outside of Jersey?" I asked.
Joe laughed."No, like have you kissed a guy?"
"Oh," I said.
"Well?" Joe asked when I didn't continue.
"Well," I started, "if this were measured in distance from the house... I'd still be inside."
"Not even akiss?" He asked.
Why did he sound so shocked? "JD did give me a hug once," I said.
"I'm sorry we're not playing 20 questions and I believe you could either answer this or pick the next question since your brother likes me better."
Joe mocked me quietly as he reached for another ball of paper. "And just so you know he liked Nick not you," he said before reading the question. "What's your favorite color?" He looked up at me. "What kind of question is that?"
"A safe one that I can answer too." I wasn't about to ask him a personal question that Iwouldn't want to answer myself.
"Blue," he said taking another ball.
"Same." We covered favorite song and favorite band. "What are your parent's first names?"I read the next question out loud. "What kind of question is that?" I mocked.
Joe just laughed and said, "What? I don't know your parent's names." I sat there giving him a weird look. "Since you're not answering, my parent's names are Paul and Denise."
I just rolled my eyes and said, "Arthur and Erin."
We continued with the questions. After a couple questions we were down to two balls of paper. If I remembered correctly one of those balls held one of my questions. Joe looked a little nervous as I picked up the paper closest to me. "What is your most embarrassing moment?" I read my question out loud.
"The one good question to ask and you picked that one?" Joe asked. I just shrugged. He placed his elbow on his knee as he rested his forehead in the palm of his hand. "Your first Christmas here, when you hit me for the first time."
"My friends and Kevin ragged on me for days," Joe said looking up. He had a small smile on his face as he shook his head. "I don't know why it still embarrasses me, but it does."
"Mine was afew years after that," I said. "It was when I started getting a crush on JD. You said some things about my real parents again. I didn't hit you this time. Ijust stood there as you walked away."
"I remember that. I think I told you, you were bad luck and that's why you're parents didn't want you."
"Jerby walked away with you," I continued. "But JD stayed. He tried to convince me that you were actually a nice person. The embarrassing part was that I cried in front of him. I hate it when people see me cry, which is why I always ended up hitting you, so you don't see," I said with a little laugh. "That was when he gave me ahug."
There was an awkward pause when he didn't say anything. I couldn't complain really, what do you say when you hear a story like that?